TVA: Kingston Ash Recovery Project nears completion

TVA Kingston Fossil Plant Dike C Reinforcement

TVA Kingston Fossil Plant Dike C reinforcement (Photos courtesy TVA)


The Tennessee Valley Authority is in the final stages of the Kingston recovery project. The public utility says it’s fulfilling a promise to restore the area surrounding the Kingston Fossil Plant near Harriman following the coal ash spill in December 2008, the largest ash spill in U.S. history.

A major milestone was reached in early December, with the completion of the cover for a 240-acre permanent ash retention landfill. The new landfill, which has been fortified with an underground earthquake-resistant wall anchored in bedrock, is covered by a flexible-membrane liner and geo-composite fabric, two feet of clay, topsoil, and grass.

“We all know this incident shouldn’t have happened,” said TVA President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Johnson, who visited the recovery site on December 17. “But we have learned from it and we are fulfilling our commitment to making it right.”

TVA says it’s also keeping its promise by returning the Emory River and surrounding waterways to pre-spill conditions, reforesting and adding vegetation to surrounding land, stabilizing shorelines, and adding wetlands and other wildlife habitats. TVA has opened Lakeshore Park, which features 32 acres of walking trails, fishing piers, a boat ramp, and docks. [Read more…]

Mosby seeks re-election to City Council

David Mosby

David Mosby

David Mosby is seeking re-election to the Oak Ridge City Council in the November 4 municipal election.

“I am ready to continue my service to the citizens,” Mosby said in a press release.

Mosby was first elected to Council in 2001, and he said he remains committed to listening and acting to make Oak Ridge a great place to live, work, and visit.

“His Council record reflects a thoughtful and balanced approach to decision making based on his concern for people, fiscal responsibility, and support for new initiatives that enhance our quality of life,” the press release said. “He is active in the community and holds the belief that ‘We become better by working together!'” [Read more…]

IDB hears committee reports, considers purchasing authorization approvals

The Oak Ridge Industrial Development Board will meet at 4 p.m. Tuesday, September 2, in the Municipal Building Training Room.

Agenda items include committee reports, an economic development initiative for the IDB website, and purchasing authorization approvals.

Mayor Beehan won’t seek re-election to City Council

Tom Beehan and Gary Wade

Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan, left, is pictured above earlier this month with Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary Wade at Razzleberry’s Ice Cream Lab and Kitchen. Beehan will not seek re-election to Oak Ridge City Council in November.


Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan, who has served on the City Council since 2001, will not seek re-election in November.

Beehan said he has been considering whether to run “for some time,” and he announced his decision to not seek re-election on Wednesday. Before making the decision, Beehan said, he wanted to be sure that quality candidates with a vision for the city’s future were ready to run.

“It’s clear that there are candidates who have the vision and ability to serve the community on City Council,” Beehan said in a press release. “I have enjoyed serving Oak Ridge as mayor and as a City Council member, but I think it is time for new leadership to take a fresh look at moving Oak Ridge forward.”

Beehan said he has spent 20 years as an elected official in local government in Oak Ridge and in Covington, Kentucky—before his family moved to Oak Ridge.

“I consider this a retirement from public service as an elected official, but I plan to continue to be engaged in community activities,” Beehan said. [Read more…]

ThreeStar status awarded to 85 counties, including Anderson, Roane

Bill Hagerty

Bill Hagerty


93 out of 95 counties meet audit committee requirement

NASHVILLE—The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development on Thursday announced that 85 out of 95 counties, including Anderson and Roane, have been awarded ThreeStar status. In addition, since the ThreeStar community development program began requiring eligible communities to create and maintain a County Audit Committee in January 2013, the number of counties with Audit Committees has increased substantially. As of March 2013, there were 32 audit committees around the state; as of July 2014, there are 93.

“The ThreeStar program is a vital component to our state’s overall level of success, providing counties with a proven roadmap for continued economic and community strength, which in turn helps Tennessee win new investment and jobs,” Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty said. “Tennessee has been recognized as the number one state in the nation for economic development, and these audit committees support Governor Haslam’s overarching goal of making Tennessee the most efficiently run state on every level. I congratulate all of our ThreeStar counties and those communities who are taking the initiative to create Audit Committees and work toward achieving fiscal strength and efficient government.”

The Audit Committees are designed to help each county improve their financial management and reporting practices, and help ensure the implementation of good internal controls to prevent or detect fraud, a step towards achieving fiscal strength and efficient government. [Read more…]

IDB considers economic development funds, Horizon Center electrical distribution

The Oak Ridge Industrial Development Board will consider getting funds from the city’s Economic Development Initiative and electrical distribution at Horizon Center Area 5 during a meeting at 4 p.m. Monday, August 4.

The meeting is in the Oak Ridge Municipal Building Training Room.

Also on the agenda is Protomet refinancing.

Haslam, SL Tennessee to make economic development announcement Friday

Governor Bill Haslam

Bill Haslam

Gov. Bill Haslam and executives from SL Tennessee will make a significant economic development announcement in Clinton on Friday, a press release said.

The ceremony starts at 10:15 a.m. Friday at SL Tennessee at 311 Frank L. Diggs Drive.

Others expected to attend include U.S. senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker; Rep. Chuck Fleischmann; Y.K. Woo, SL America president; Scott Laska, SL Tennessee business development manager; Clinton Mayor Scott Burton; Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank; and other local elected officials.

Council to consider DOE wastewater billing; lobbying, economic development contracts

Oak Ridge City Council

The Oak Ridge City Council is pictured above during an August 2013 meeting. (File photo)

The Oak Ridge City Council on Monday night will consider adding a facilities charge to the U.S. Department of Energy’s monthly wastewater bill for costs related to the construction of a holding tank, or equalization basin, near the Y-12 National Security Complex.

The equalization basin on Scarboro Lane, near the intersection of Scarboro Road and South Illinois Avenue, will service wastewater coming out of the federal reservation, city officials said. Wastewater flows from DOE facilities are estimated to be 67 percent of the total wastewater flow coming into that equalization basin, which will replace a now-demolished car wash near the intersection.

Assuming a 67 percent-33 percent split between DOE and the city, DOE’s share of the cost for construction of the Scarboro Lane equalization basin is estimated at $1.4 million, city officials said. DOE could pay another $24,190 per month as part of its wastewater bill for 60 months starting in July, Oak Ridge Finance Director Janice E. McGinnis said. [Read more…]

DOE transfers former machine shop property to CROET

DOE Land Transfer at ETTP to CROET

From left during Wednesday’s land transfer ceremony are U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann; Mark Whitney, manager of DOE’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management; Lawrence Young, CROET president and CEO; and David Klaus, DOE’s deputy undersecretary for management and performance.


Roughly 25 acres of land that once housed a machine shop and supporting buildings at Heritage Center has been transferred to an economic development organization that finds new uses for former federal property.

The property transfer from the U.S. Department of Energy to the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee was celebrated in a Wednesday afternoon ceremony. It’s the 12th transfer from DOE to CROET, and the two dozen acres were signed over to CROET for private-sector use.

Among the speakers at Wednesday’s ceremony were U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, a Republican whose district includes Oak Ridge, and David Klaus, DOE’s deputy undersecretary for management and performance.

“The reindustrialization program in Oak Ridge has not only been an economic development catalyst for the region, it is saving tax payers millions of dollars as the federal government transfers underutilized assets to the private sector,” Fleischmann said.

The transfers of the parcels, officially known as ED-11 and ED-12, have been in the works for at least a few years. Lawrence Young, CROET president and chief executive officer, said there will some infrastructure improvements to make the property ready for development. Part of the property once housed Building 1401, an old machine shop that has now been demolished. [Read more…]

2014 Election: Frank says she’s kept her promise; Bates wants to focus on retail, housing

Terry Frank

Terry Frank

Zach Bates

Zach Bates

CLINTON—She says she’s kept her promise to protect Anderson County from higher taxes and worked to make government more efficient while improving customer service.

He says the county needs a more targeted approach to bringing in new retail and rebuilding the housing market.

The two candidates, incumbent Terry Frank and her challenger Zach Bates, face off in the Republican primary in Anderson County on Tuesday.

Frank was first elected in a special election in August 2012. She is the first female mayor of Anderson County and running for her first four-year term. She is completing the unexpired term of former mayor Rex Lynch, who resigned in January 2011.

Bates is a one-term Anderson County Commissioner who is not seeking re-election to that seat. [Read more…]

ETCompetes! Speaker Series: Secrets of successful communities


In the ever-changing world of economic development, it is imperative that communities in East Tennessee recognize the paradigm shift that is happening nationally in regards to enhanced community character, retail, real estate, and economic changes. In an effort to foster change and growth all around our beautiful region, ETCompetes!—in conjunction with their partners East Tennessee Quality Growth, NAI, US Bank, and University of Tennessee School of Landscape Architecture—are sponsoring two workshops featuring nationally recognized speaker, Ed McMahon, Urban Land Institute senior resident fellow.

McMahon spent 14 years as the vice president and director of land use planning for the Conservation Fund in Arlington, Va., where he helped protect more than five million acres of land that has historic or natural significance. McMahon is also the cofounder and former president of Scenic America, a national nonprofit organization devoted to protecting America’s scenic landscapes. [Read more…]

Frank, AC mayor, elected treasurer of ETDD, ETHRA board

Terry Frank

Terry Frank

CLINTON—Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank has been elected treasurer of the East Tennessee Development District’s board of directors as well as treasurer of the East Tennessee Human Resource Agency’s Board and Policy Council.

The ETHRA Board and Policy Council meetings are held in coordination with the East Tennessee Development District. This combined meeting offers members a wider opportunity to discuss issues concerning the 16 county governments that comprise both the ETHRA and ETDD boards.

ETHRA has several advisory groups that provide an important community partnership link with the executive director. They include groups such as Workforce LWIA4, Council on Aging and Disability, and Correctional Services among others. [Read more…]